Sunday, September 26, 2021

Ika Editions

Modern natural editions

Producing simple, timeless, locally produced modern fashion in Barcelona.

Dominika Niczyporuk, also know as Ika, is a Polish fashion designer based in Barcelona. She is behind the Spanish made, hand-crafted clothing and accessories brand IKA. Her designs are based on simplicity and comfort and entirely consist of natural materials such as wool, silk, linen, and cotton.

IKA was founded in 2015 with the focus on a simple, timeless aesthetic and the highest quality of materials and craftsmanship. Because of these traits, every piece of clothing will last much longer than just one season.

The greatest attribute about Ika is that all the production takes place locally in Barcelona. Ika's mission is to support high-end fashion manufacturing in Spain.

I had the honor of meeting Ika and seeing her designs for the first time in 2013 and have become friends, not to mention an excellent client ever since. So, therefore, I was ecstatic when she said she would sit down for an interview to discuss what's going on in the world of fashion and for her to share her thoughts on fashion.

SHOP HER COLLECTION

Shop her collection online of suits, dresses, tops, skirts, capes and more.

Ika in conversation

An in-depth interview conducted at her workshop in Barcelona.

What inspires you?

Not one particular thing inspires me: there are people, day to day situations, feelings, there are fabrics, textures, there are unique objects that I find on my weekly visit to the flea market. The magic of creativity is to absorb from everything that surrounds you.

How do those inspirations affect your design process?

Inspiration in my creative process is the ignition, but it remains abstract until I design the outfit, where it finally takes shape and emerges.

Designing is precise work. My design process includes the exhaustive studies that have I made of the human body and how the outfit should complete it.

I then work with a basic 4-color-palette while still exploring the particularities of the fabrics and playing with different textures. These fabrics are then designed into distinct and strict lines of innovative patterns.

When it some to my designs and what influences shine through, include substance, elegance, and a burst of self-confidence. And I am hoping that these attributes shine through the person who is wearing my designs.

Why do you produce your designs locally?

I must take active participation and oversee the whole process from the design to the final product. I work together with my seamstresses to obtain optimal results. The proximity between us makes it unthinkable for me to start producing in other countries as I wouldn't be able to look after the process. On the other hand, the cornerstone of my brand is my work ethic. I am proud of supporting the local market, paying a fair salary to my coworkers, and boosting the local economy.

What's your feeling about sustainability versus fast fashion?

In my opinion, sustainability focuses on various foundations that we need to defend.

On one side, responsible consumption is facing up to the constant consumption imposed by fast fashion; on the other side, customers get addicted to buying disposable clothing as the trends wear off. There is resistance, though.

My sustainability-conscious designs are of higher quality and made to last. My brand is about having your own, individual, elegant, and timeless style and putting aside the current fashion trends. Furthermore, my clothing is made locally, so it avoids carbon admissions, I take care of and oversee the production line, and I choose and purchase textiles made in the European Union.

Those values are fundamental to me as a consumer. I love second-hand clothes and I love the idea of giving them another opportunity to be worn or used by mixing them with new ones. My line of handbags is an excellent example of how I like to work with vintage clothes since I make them out of recycled leather.

How does your brand reflect your personal style?

I tend to design clothes for myself, which include outfits that I would love to wear and pieces that I consider indispensable in my closet. My brand is, indeed, tied to my personality. I am Ika, and Ika is me. My brand is undoubtedly a link to my charisma and to the clothes that I want to wear. Therefore, when I design them, I turn them into reality.

You will find the clean cuts, the subtlety of textures, the fabrics, and strokes of color that stand out on a palette of natural colors that I not only love and wear but design and bring to my clients.

I know that your brand is season-less, but do you see it as genderless, too?

I do not exclude sexes in my designs. From the beginning, I have alway included unisex models. And most of the designs that are destined to be for women, I can see their potential for them to be perfectly worn by men. Many of my designs can be worn, both by a woman and by a man, because of the loose silhouettes that do not mark the body and that have a structured cut. Both genders value garments that are comfortable and that are made of quality fabrics. Why should you limit yourself? I believe that each customer can reinterpret the clothing, adapt it to their style, and give it its own life.

What is the best advice you have ever received from a mentor/colleague in the fashion industry?

Honestly, I have just followed my own instincts, my inner voice. From the beginning, I had a distinct idea of what I wanted to do and pursued my ideals concerning production and design.

If you could change one aspect of the fashion world, what would it be and why?

I want to be able to guide people towards their own style. There are many times that people follow the trends without caring if that trend works for them or not. From my point of view, one should wear clothes consistent with their personality. There's no need to seek to imitate the prevailing trends. Everyone should create and shape their style. The current fashion system rewards repetition and uniformity. On the contrary, I opt for the blend, for the creation of a unique style which lasts and which is unmistakable.

Describe your brand in three words.

3 Words. Elegance, Confidence, and Comfort

Ika Editions has been a Barcelona based brand for nearly four years now. You have a showroom, you show your designs in the markets, and you even have a storefront. What's next for Ika? Where would you like to be in 5 years?

Regarding the expansion goals, I would like to have a network of my own stores in several cities, maintaining the creative headquarters in Spain. I must link fashion with other creative disciplines. My brand is related to artists such as painters, architects, and interior designers. For this reason, I would love to do multidisciplinary projects that bring together creative disciplines and collaborate with other artists.

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